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FIRST-PERSON: God’s presence in the marketplace

ATLANTA (BP)–In the Scriptures we find that the arena of God’s constant activity is worked out primarily in and through the lives of those in the marketplace.

From Genesis to Revelation, we see the radical difference God made when He was present. He called Abraham, a successful businessman of his day. Joseph was called to rule over Egypt as governor. David was a shepherd and a king. Amos was a herdsman. Peter, James and John were fishermen. And in Mark 6:3 those in the synagogue said of Jesus: “Is this not the carpenter?”

Indeed, most of Jesus’ ministry is not found in the synagogue. He was always at work with what the Father was doing in the marketplace. And He made a difference in the marketplace because when He was among them the presence of God was among them! The blind could see. The deaf could hear. The lame could leap. Demons were cast out. When Jesus was present all the fullness of God was present with Him!

When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, He was meeting her in her marketplace. There He brought the kingdom of God to her life and, in turn, God’s great salvation impacted her entire city (Sychar). Then God touched the next city of Samaria and, ultimately, every town and village in her entire country (Acts 8:25; 9:31).

This remains God’s strategy to reach a lost world today. God intends that every Christian live out His presence in their lives wherever He places them. His plan is for every local church to equip their members to function effectively and powerfully all week long in the marketplace. We are to be the light of Christ shining in a darkened world around us.

Why, then, do we not see a greater impact in our marketplaces? Why, then, do we see such spiritual sickness in our culture? The answer is unbelief. When the disciples asked Jesus why they had failed to cure the demon possessed son, Jesus said:

“Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).

If there is a weeping in the heart of our Lord it is the yearning for His people to truly believe what is present in their marketplace when He is there in them! He’s not looking for head knowledge; He’s looking for a heart experience. For it is in our heart alone that we will recognize that Christ is present with us in our marketplace.

When we experience God and He has access to our lives, God can do anything He desires. But we must first be totally yielded to Him. There has to come a moment in our lives that we believe, know, trust and obey Him. Therefore, we cannot afford to have a quiet time and then go out into the “secular” world and invite Him in periodically.

We must not only tell others about Christ, but we must die to self and let Christ live through us in our marketplace. We must show people around us the radical difference that the power and provision of God can make in their lives.

I believe in these critical days God is marshalling His people to share, and be, His Good News in the marketplaces of America. Many are looking to know if there is a God, and God has chosen to reveal Himself through us. That is His strategy. If we believe Him and release our lives to Him, we can save our nation and the world will never be the same.
For more information about Blackaby’s ministry and travel schedule visit his website at www.blackaby.org, or contact Blackaby Ministries International, P.O. Box 16338, Atlanta, Ga. 30321; (404) 362-9500.

    About the Author

  • Henry Blackaby